Washington's Senate voted late last week to pass a bill that would drastically change the state's medical marijuana law. The bill would instantly call for the halting of operations by all medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, and would make some big changes to the rules that currently apply to patients. This of course has drawn quite a bit of feedback from Washington's medical marijuana community. Per The Joint Blog:
Senate Bill 5052 would combine the medical and recreational cannabis systems by shutting down all currently operating dispensaries in the state, renaming the Liquor Control Board the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, and by allowing recreational cannabis retail outlets to apply for a medical cannabis endorsement indicating they're knowledgeable in the medical use of cannabis.
The proposal, which is opposed adamantly by activists groups such as Sensible Washignton, would also establish a mandatory patient registry, forcing individuals to put their name on a list admitting to committing a federal crime in order to receive state-level legal protections.
Senate Bill 5052, without any legitimate reason, would also drastically reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can possess and cultivate, from 24 ounces to 3, and from 15 plants to 6.
It's hard to tell what the chances are of a House version of Senate Bill 5052 passing. There will likely be some tweaks in the House version, which will delay the process. There is a different bill currently working its way around the Washington Legislature, which is a much better approach. House Bill 2058 was introduced last week, and is currently assigned to the House Commerce and Gaming Committee. Hopefully members of the Washington House latch onto it and reject the Senate bill that is coming their way.